Black cargo in shackles

The bondage of slaves

Willing to die to be free

In a mutinous uprising

Aboard the ship, Amistad

Led by the slave Cinque

Achieving the improbable

Slaves freeing slaves

But alas not to last

Once on U.S. soil

Imprisoned for murder

“Send them back”

Proclaimed pro-slavers

No, “Set them free”

Argued the abolitionists

Before the U.S. Supreme Court

Where John Quincy Adams

Persuasively defended

Still incarcerated slaves.

Liberty and justice won

Twin pillars of freedom

That symbolically merge

On Martha’s Vineyard

To commemorate freedom

With the replica of Amistad

Converging with Juneteenth

Although a solemn event

There is jubilation

To celebrate and elevate

Our thoughts about

The fragility of freedom

The struggle to overcome

Impending threats

And efforts to preserve

What’s been achieved

Inspired by the examples

Of so many like Cinque

The ghost of Amistad.